India – Facts and Travel Tips
Weather & Climate
Climatic conditions in India varies from region to region. The cool winds prevail from November to mid-March. The hot dry weather follows and ends in mid June. The monsoon fetches hot humid conditions and blast the country with torrential rain. The hill stations at Himalayas and Western Ghat provide succor even in the hot months of April and June. Western Himalayas are a good refuge till September month although cold and rains survive till spring. Pleasant sunny weather dominates in October up to March all over.
Entry & Visa Requirement
Passports / Visas: Visitors from all foreign countries including UK & Ireland require visa to enter India. British and Irish nationals should have a valid passport with minimum validity of six months prior to visa application.
Health and Medical
Vaccination is not a prerequisite for visiting India for people from UK and Ireland. Inoculation for diseases as typhoid, Hepatitis and meningitis is advised. Travelers from Africa, South America and Papua New Guinea must have Yellow Fever Certification else they will be quarantined.
Rupee is India’s currency. Rs. One Rupee is equals hundred paisas. Coin denominations are of 10, 25 & 50 Paisa and India mints 1, 2 & 5 Rupee coins as well. Denominations of Rupee is in Rs. 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Rs. Information on exchange rates is available online and one can approach Indian banks for more details. Money is changeable at International airports. Most common foreign currencies are GBP and US$. The Euro will give more problems
Credit cards are a recent introduction in smaller cities in India and commercial establishments like hotels, restaurants, and shops centers accept popular credit cards as American Express, Master card and Visa.
English is popular all over India followed by National Language Hindi and local language as Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri and Sindhi. India has plethora of dialects and regional language versions.
India is a secular country and religiously diverse. The Major religions are Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Others are Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis & micro minority of Jews. Lodging & Boarding
There are hotels, Inns and Lodges available in all class from five star to economy. Indian cuisine is varied and available at all places. Those not comfortable with hot spicy food should indicate before hand. During India tour avoid eating at roadside joints or Dhabas.
In Indian restaurants and hotels 10% tax or service charge is added to billings. Tipping is popular everywhere but is optional. It is customary to tip helpers, chefs, guides, waiters, railway porters, and taxi drivers.
Electrical Appliance Usage
Voltage is usually 220 AC, 50 cycles, round pin plugs and sockets are common. It is advised to check voltage before using electrical appliances. It is also advisable to keep plug adaptors.
These may vary all over the country. Banks: 1000 to 1400 (Mon. to Fri.), and 1000 to 1200 (Sat.). International hotels have twenty four hour money changing. Post Offices: 1000 to 1700 (Mon. to Fri.) and Saturday mornings. Business offices: 0930 to 1700 (Mon. to Fri.), 0930-1300 (Sat.). Shops: 0930 to 1800 (Mon. to Sat.).
26 – Jan Republic Day
15 Aug Independence Day
Mahatma’s Birth day 2 Oct.
For other holidays contact Tourist Offices, London (Tel: 020 7437 3677)
For visitors Taj Mahal at Agra is closed on Friday, Ajanta Caves on Monday and Ellora Caves on Tuesday. Red fort at New Delhi is closes each Monday.
Indian Postal System
Stamps are available at at hotels. Airmail delivery service to UK is week long or more. Internet connectivity and cafes are available in most hotels, GPOs and quite widespread.
Photography & Filming Charges
Diverse India offers varied themes to photographers – people, ancient monuments, Indian wildlife, festivals and landscape. Still photographers and video film makers have to pay a prescribed fee. The professional photographer and professional film makers need permission from Archaeological Survey of India, Janpath Road, New Delhi-110001, Tel. 00-91-11-23012058/23019487 (2) Photography in National Parks is on payment of a fee to the Wildlife Warden; (3) Photography is banned in tribal regions & defence properties.
Travelling together as Friends